Properties worth millions of naira are destroyed by fire daily in Nigeria and lives are lost. Many go unreported. But do we give a thought to what causes fire in homes, offices, shops or our surroundings and how best to avoid them?
The Operational Commander for Federal Fire service, Ime Eyo, outlines 10 ways to avoid fire.
Always put off appliances when not in use
For those who go to work, put off all appliances at home to avoid voltage surge that may follow when power is restored after an outage. The same applies for the office when leaving.
Do not overload electrical sockets
Avoid overloading electrical sockets/outlets to prevent sparks that may lead to fire.
Do not smoke at bed time
This is for smokers. After a late night party or stressful day, it may be tempting to have stick just before bed. With the possibility of dozing off, there is a tendency to toss the butt anywhere while it has half-lit. If that lands on the rug or mattress, the consequences can only be imagined.
Do not use phones in the kitchen
In this era of phone and social media, many people go into the kitchen with their phones. The temptations are many. For one, an incoming call may provide a distraction too costly. A story is told of a lady who received a call as she attempted to light the gas. While speaking on the phone, she forgot the cooker had been switched on. With a strike of the match, flames engulfed the whole building.
Fuel your generator before, not during a football match
With the recent league that has just begun, many football fans will be watching many matches. For one, PHCN cannot be trusted. Any plans for a backup should factor in sufficiently fuelling the generator. Doing so while the generator is on may be dangerous.
All generators should be kept in an open space for cross-ventilation and not in an enclosed environment.
Put off phones while in the filling stations
This is common amongst car owners. Receiving calls and making them in a highly inflammable environment like a petrol station is risky as mobile phones are emitters of small amount of charges that could explode in contact with petrol.
Do not be an emergency engineer or electrician
Avoid fixing electrical faults personally when you apparently do not have the skill. Violating the basic rule of aligning like charges can lead to a spark which may result in fire.
Get a Thunder Arrestor
Thunder storm delivers a huge amount of electrical charge. The work of a Thunder Arrestor is to safely lead this current away from the building to the earth to avoid fire. Get one.
Keep the candle on a candle stand
We put candles and leave them beside curtains or clothes or even on tables made from wood. The candle may fall off or a nearby object may get burned.